Minister of State for Social and Family Development, Halimah Yacob, spoke about her recent trip to Finland and Sweden to look at how preschool education is organised and delivered, when speaking to the media on the sidelines of a community in Jurong on Sunday.
She said both childcare and education are delivered in a holistic and child-centric way in both countries, and she noted that the preschools focus a great deal on play while integrating concepts like numeracy, literacy and ethics.
“Some insights are really useful. For instance, in terms of the transition from preschool to compulsory education, which in both countries start at the age of seven, the transition is quite smooth, in the sense that there is a lot of coordination between the preschool curriculum, even the way preschools are organised with the compulsory education which starts at seven.
“For instance, in Finland in order to ensure that transition, the preschool education for six-year-old preschoolers is located in primary school itself.
“But although it is located in the school, in the case of Sweden, the people who teach the six-year-olds are still the preschool teachers. But they site it in the school because they want the kids to get the feel, that you are know transitioning from your preschool education to one where you are going to compulsory education. That I think is a useful concept, a really useful idea in terms of how you can enhance the quality of preschool education.”